In 2021, the University announced it was searching for eight new faculty members, filling vacancies in various departments. After months of interviewing, Pitt-Greensburg has hired their first faculty member, assistant professor of theatre arts Joey Banks.
Banks originates from Texas and has a Masters of Fine Arts in classical acting from Illinois State University. He has participated in plays and musicals including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Richard II,” and many others. Banks will be moving to Greensburg with his wife and daughter to pursue his new career choice.
“When I was starting my job search, it was important to me that wherever I ended up was a place where I felt like I could actually build something,” Professor Banks said. “And I thought that’s [Pitt-Greensburg], the position was in the community with proximity to a town like Pittsburgh, which has such great theatre. I wanted to be a part of something where we felt like year to year, we were consistently building and structuring and growing.”
Banks is enthusiastic about his role here on campus and wants to encourage all majors to participate in theatre.
“I know it’s busy in college. It’s a busy time, and if you’re not doing this for your major … you likely don’t think you have time or the energy for it, but I really want to welcome non-majors to audition,” Professor Banks said. “I want them to feel that this is a place they can come into and it’s not gonna be like, ‘Well, I’m not a major, therefore I don’t get that full acceptance.’ It’s not what it’s gonna be. And I’m going to be focusing on putting material out there that’s going to be more contemporary that speaks to, I think, a broader audience, and that hopefully feels relevant to younger students.”
Currently, there are still five faculty positions open in the education, history, creative and professional writing, digital humanities/english literature, and chemistry departments. According to Dr. Jacqueline Horrall, the vice president for academic affairs, the positions should be filled by March, and new faculty should be fully onboarded and start in Fall 2022.